YESTERDAY’S disappearance of Fete Champetre at Hexham’s final fence was one of the more bizarre things you’ll see on a racecourse this year - but thankfully both the horse and Craig Nichol are fine after it. Viewers on television were left wondering where they’d gone after looming up to challenge - and it was only afterwards it became clear Fete had run into the hedge at the side of the obstacle.
We think there was a shadow across it and it made the eventual winner jink a bit, so that set us off and we ended up in the wing. Both the horse and jockey were lucky to get away unscathed, although Craig is covered in scratches from the bush!
Fete was lying on top of the fence winded for about five minutes but he’s fine and a special mention has to go to Lewis Dobbs, who was the other jockey in the incident. Craig said he was brilliant at helping them get out so thanks to him because it really could have been a nasty one.
As for the race itself until that point, I was happy with the way he ran and we were thinking we could have won. We will never know now but the main thing is they're both back in one piece and there will be other days in the future.
We were delighted with Aazza winning her first race for us and have to admit it was unexpected. She really ground it out so hopefully we’ll have a lot of fun with her. Espoir Moriviere ran okay but the ground wasn’t soft enough for him, so we were pleased to see him perform the way he did.
We are off to Kelso today and we’re excited seeing TROOPER TURNBULL (1.00), above, go in his first chase. We have always really liked him, he’s in great order at home. All his schooling has been really good, we have been putting him over fences at home for a long time and he’s every inch a chaser. We have stuck the hood on him because it’s his first run in a while and he could be a bit gassy.
He is half-owned by Kelso chairman Mark Hunter, whose birthday it was this week so it’s great we are able to run at this meeting for him. Fingers crossed he’ll put in a big run.